THE Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (Icaz) is holding its winter school in Victoria Falls and at the same time celebrating it’s 100th anniversary.
By MTHANDAZO NYONI
The event kicked off yesterday and will run until Sunday. NewsDay (ND) business reporter, Mthandazo Nyoni, interviewed Icaz president, Martin Makaya (MM), who revealed that the accounting profession in Zimbabwe needed consolidation, as currently the sector was too fragmented to be effective in the public domain. Below are excerpts of the interview:
ND: The Icaz is currently holding its Winter School in Victoria Falls. What major areas are you focusing on?
MM: This is Icaz’s centenary year and the institute is celebrating 100 years of unequalled existence. We stand high as the longest surviving professional accountancy organisation in the country, we are the pre-eminent accounting body in the country literally driving the accounting profession each day. We are proud of our role of leading and providing accounting solutions in the country.
First, to go with the centenary year, our theme is Celebrating Our First 100 Years, A Stepping Stone To The Next 100 Years.
This will stand out as the major area of discussion for the institute in terms of looking back and asking ourselves what we have achieved and what we still have to achieve in the next 100 years.
A second area that we will cover is globalisation and how we can remain competitive. Globalisation is a critical area in the sense that international barriers have been broken and we need to strategise within a global context.
Topics for discussion that will talk to the local environment include estate planning, price hikes, lifestyle management, performance management, corruption and business ethics command initiatives, parastatal reforms and the work Icaz intends to do on the pronominalisation of the public-sector accounting professionals.
ND: Besides Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, which other speakers will grace the event?
MM: On the local front, we will be honoured to have top notch speakers, such as the Reserve Bank governor, John Mangudya, Sifelani Jabangwe the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, and Rosemary Siyachitema the executive director of the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe
From the region, we have invited speakers such as the prominent corruption and business ethics guru, Professor Patrick Lumumba, who is also an advocate of the High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania. Professor Mbigi will cover parastatal reforms with a review of privatisation if its a solution or the panacea to economic development.
ND: I understand that Icaz has been pushing for more seats on the boards of State-owned entities, amid revelations that only two were sitting on the boards of six sampled entities. How far have you gone with your lobbying?
MM: Icaz has submitted the list of its members and their areas of interest to government. Confirmation has been received that these are being considered.
ND: Why were you pushing for more seats on the boards of State-owned entities?
MM: It is conspicuous that there very few chartered accountants who are in the public sector, yet the public sector is the key component of economic development.
As Icaz, we have now offered to have our members serve on the State enterprises’ boards as a noble contribution to Zimbabwe’s economic development.
Studies have I concluded that the more the Icaz members are in an entity, the more profitable that entity is. That is, there is a strong positive correlation between the number of chartered accountants in an organisation and the level of profit of the organisation.
ND: What are you doing, or have you done as Icaz to ensure that female members of influence interact and inspire enrolment of female students in the accounting sector?
MM: The Women Chartered Accountants Network (WeCAN) Committee of Icaz was formed in 2017.
This committee has a sub-committee which focuses on female members, whose role is to engage with the female students, mentor them and encourage them to finally enrol to become chartered accountants.
ND: Currently, what is female representation at Icaz?
MM: 27% of Icaz members are female.
ND: What is your comment on the state of affairs in the accounting sector?
MM: My honest opinion is that the accounting profession in Zimbabwe needs consolidation. Given the critical role that accounting plays in society today, the widely fragmented accounting profession in Zimbabwe is not ideal.
Many countries in Africa and abroad have a maximum of two professional accounting bodies in a country, but we have eight in Zimbabwe. That’s not acceptable. We are too fragmented to be effective in the public domain.